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Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Key Cosplay Bloggers



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Publishers release a huge number of games every year. Steam alone has more than 14,000 premieres in 2023. This abundance of choice makes gamers more discerning than ever. Publishers must think outside the box to attract players' attention to new game products and convert that attention into purchases. One such promotional tool is cosplay. We'll discuss what it is, how it interacts with the game industry, and how it is used in game promotion.

Game cosplay specificity

Cosplay is the art of reincarnation in your favorite characters. It's not just about costumes. To achieve a perfect resemblance, the cosplayer adopts facial expressions, movements, speech, and even the features of thinking of the "source." Cosplay is similar to historical reconstruction, but it differs in that there is no plot development and the focus is on the character's personality.

A whole industry has been created around cosplay. Some cosplayers create their own images, but the majority use the services of boutafors, crafters, seamstresses, makeup artists, plastics, wig masters, and other specialists in the cosplay niche. Thanks to these professionals, they get images that are not only as good as the original but often surpass it in the quality of detail.

Cosplay community in Russian social media

Virtual "habitat" is online communities of fandom fans, anime fans, cosplayers, geeks, and game fans. They can also be found on thematic channels on YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok. Online, cosplayers not only socialize, but they also hold virtual conventions.

VK cosplay community

VK is one of the most popular social networks for cosplayers in Russia. There are fan communities dedicated to cosplay as an independent phenomenon and in conjunction with game and anime themes.


Popular cosplayers run their own pages on VK. They use donations and the platform's streaming potential to make it happen.

GraysonFin is a professional cosplayer. He streams on VK Play, runs a channel on Telegram, and creates content on Boosty. He performs at conventions and is on the jury of major geek and cosplay festivals. He cosplays characters from Genshin Impact, Hades, League of Legends, Atomic Heart, and other games.




Dasha Drawiwandspase is an artist, actress, and cosplayer. The author actively posts on VK. She also streams on Twitch and has a Telegram and YouTube channel. She cosplays characters from The Witcher, Endless Summer, and Resident Evil.


Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers


Telegram cosplay channels

Telegram is not a popular platform for cosplay communities. In fact, most cosplay channels on Telegram are hentai-themed and rated 18+. However, many cosplayers and prop makers maintain their own Telegram channels, duplicating their content from other resources and communicating with fans.

GraysonFin, as previously mentioned, duplicates cosplay content from its official VK account, interspersing it with "from life" clips and humorous posts.



Among game characters, the author of the Telegram channel Shirogane-sama cosplays NieR: Automata, League of Legends, and Genshin Impact.



Kalinka Fox exclusively uses 18+ style cosplay images from Silent Hill, God of War, and Dark Souls.



OICHI is a popular cosplayer who is often invited to major gaming events as a performer, host, and jury member. The model creates the images herself, and most of them are in the "nude" genre. She's cosplayed characters from Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and Cyberpunk.



Cosplay features YouTube channels

Cosplay does not involve image development. The character's personality remains static. Dynamic YouTube is not relevant to it. Here you can more often find content dedicated to the creation of images and their exploitation at various events.

The author of Nova Cosplay creates costumes, shows you how to make a budget image, and cosplays characters from Assassin's Creed, Mortal Kombat, and The Witcher.


Creating a cosplay image of Ariel on Nova Cosplay's YouTube channel


LUNA COSPLAY is another author who teaches how to sew costumes from improvised materials and cosplays EVA, Cyberpunk, and World of Warcraft.


Creating a look based on the game World of Warcraft on the LUNA Cosplay YouTube channel

Instagram* is also a popular platform among cosplayers worldwide. But not in Russia. Since the network was blocked in 2022, cosplayers have moved their content to other resources. 

Offline gaming events in Russia with cosplayers' support

Cosplayers are also found at many other major national and international offline events related to cyber sports and the IT industry, in addition to official cosplay events like Toguchi, Fandom Fest, ArtMyth, RusAnimeFest, and so on. For example, major geek events like VK Fest, Fan Fest, EPIC CON, Comic Con, and Moscow Cyber Con have dedicated cosplay sections. Cosplayers start preparing six months to a year prior to these events.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Warhammer cosplay from Fan Fest-2023

Smaller events may not officially have separate cosplay sections, but cosplayers are still involved in one form or another. Local cybersport tournaments, regional computer game festivals, and various university festivals all have "reincarnations" of their own.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Genshin Impact cosplay at Cybersports Festival 2024

In addition to official events, unofficial cosplay meetings also take place. These are usually held in public places and accompany city events, thematic exhibitions, and youth social events. They cause great excitement among passers-by, and videos and photos from such meetings are then circulated on social networks.

The link between cosplay and gaming

Cosplay existed long before the gaming industry, but games made it popular and gave it mass appeal. There is a clear and direct link between cosplay and cybersports. Both involve immersion in another reality, and, unsurprisingly, the gaming community is generally loyal to reincarnations, especially when cosplaying the images of game characters.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Cosplayer Oichi at a cybersports tournament as a shaman from Heroes of Might and Magic 5

Cosplay is more than just a hobby. It has become a mainstream activity. Cosplayers make money by running themed channels, selling merchandise, and most often sponsoring and participating in various events as actors, presenters, jury members, and judging committees.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Mikhalych Nazarov as Noob Saibot from Mortal Kombat leads Games of the Future in Kazan

Cosplay in-game promotion

Cosplay always gets a WOW effect. Publishers quickly recognized the great promotional potential of cosplay and began using it in their promotion strategies. They do it in the following ways.

  • Attracting Cosplayers to Participate in Various Events

Cosplayers are invited to offline events as performers to create an atmosphere of "story presence." Events can be aimed at popularizing the gaming industry or promoting specific games. They can also be non-gaming events, such as film festivals or manga conventions, where the target audience overlaps with gaming.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Overwatch Red Hood at the Future Games in Kazan

Additionally, cosplayers frequently participate in digital tournaments, where one part of the game is played on a console and the second part is played on a physical platform with the score being kept.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
A cosplay team of fijital participants in a Mortal Kombat theme at the Future Games

  • Cosplay contests

Publishers encourage players to express their creativity by reconstructing images of their favorite characters. The most successful cosplays attract the attention of even that part of the community that is not the target audience of the games.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Endless Summer game cosplay contest

In 2023, the Atomic Heart cosplay went viral across all social networks in Russia. Even those who had never held a joystick learned about the alternative version of the USSR, Baba Zina, the twins, and Major Nechayev.


Agrifano's cosplay of the Major Nechaev character from Atomic Heart 

  • Increasing coverage through cosplay of game-bloggers

Streamers, players, and video bloggers cosplay game characters, creating promotional content that helps make games more recognizable.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Cosplay on Vovchik's character from Atomic Heart in a stream by Olyashaa YouTube blogger

Cosplay collaborations with streamers are an effective marketing strategy because they allow you to influence a large community of loyal game influencers. If the influencer and the game have the same target audience and the influencer has a lot of trust, a successful cosplay will interest subscribers and turn them into buyers.



Genshin Impact cosplay by quick_kiwi  

  • Cosplay Game Ambassadors

In the game industry, the mechanics of choosing an ambassador differ from other niches. The "face" of the game can be a person who is little known in the gaming sphere, but popular in related areas. Take cosplay, for example.

Cosplayer Anna Ormeli Moleva is the official face of BioShock Infinite. She became the chosen one after her particularly successful cosplay of Elizabeth, the shooter's protagonist. She later voiced this character in a fan-localization from CGInfo, by the way. She previously cosplayed images from League of Legends, Prince of Persia, Mass Effect, Dark Souls, and other games.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite and her "ambassador" Anna Moleva

Ninel Amiko Nuretdinova was the official mascot of Unity, the leading platform for game development. Ninel is a gamer, crafter, podcaster, and cosplayer who brings characters from games like Hitman and BioShock Infinite to life. She also has a knack for releasing games as a publisher. She has been living in Georgia for the last year and has no interest in participating in offline Russian cosplay activities.

Promoting Games by Cosplay in Russia: Techniques and Top Cosplayers
Unity-chan the game conference by Ninel Amiko Nuretdinova

Fast conclusions

Cosplay is an effective addition to a key game promotion strategy. There are live examples of this. However, Russian cosplay has its own specifics related to the mentality of Russian players, the choice of ambassadors, and the use of certain social networks. These factors must be taken into account when developing a promotional strategy. This is a task for the whole marketing department. The RMAA team is the leading specialist in game promotion in Russia and the CIS. We have unparalleled experience implementing campaigns with a wide range of online-offline strategies in the gaming industry.  Our cases prove it. See for yourself. 

To discuss your game project, please leave a request in the contacts. An RMAA manager will respond to you promptly.

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About the Author

Digital Strategist. Head of one of the project groups at RMAA. Maria started her journey in digital marketing in 2009. 

Author Maria Romanenko

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